Why is there a plug on top of the milk?
When milk is not homogenized the cream rises to the top of the milk because it is lighter than the nonfat part of milk. If it is not being used and shaken daily, the cream to thickens at the top. Many of our customers find the cream to be quite delicious. In fact, one of our customers, who is originally from Europe, told us that as a child, his family used to have fresh milk delivered to their door. The entire family competed to be the first to get to the milk so they could enjoy the cream at the top. He even described wanting it so much that he and his brother would sneak to neighbors porches to eat the cream off the top of their milk!
Why don’t you use glass bottles?
Farmers’ All Natural Creamery milk is packaged using the best method available for preserving its unique freshness. We use a PET bottle that does not leach into the milk, like softer plastic dairy bottles do. UV blockers in the bottle make it a better option than glass because milk is very sensitive to light. Just minutes of exposure to sunlight and to ultraviolet lighting in grocery stores induces vitamin degradation and light oxidation. Oxidation produces off-flavors (cabbage like, burnt odor) that shorten its shelf life.
Is your bottle recyclable?
Yes, # 1 recyclable—the most widely recycled plastic.
What is the shelf life of your product? Vat process is used to bring the freshest milk to customers, not milk with a longer-than-natural shelf life. It is normal for milk to last 10-18 days. Our milk has an 18 day shelf life.
Is your milk raw?
No, it is not legal to sell raw milk in most states. We use the lowest temperature (VAT) process allowed with pasteurization laws to bring the closest to farm fresh milk as possible.
What is non-homogenized? Why do we think non-homogenized
We do not homogenize our milk, preferring instead to leave it in its natural form--a combination of nonfat milk and cream. Homogenization, developed around 1900 in France, is a process in which hot milk is pumped through very small nozzles at high pressure, creating turbulent pressure that tears the fat globules into tiny particles, evenly dispersing them throughout the milk. While homogenization blends milk, it makes milk taste bland. Cream left in its whole form (globules) allows a natural creamy taste that is lost when it is broken down through homogenization. The cream in non-homogenized milk will rise to the top because it is lighter than the nonfat milk from which it separates. The cream at the top is a forgotten treat that kids and adults in earlier generations looked forward to when the milkman left milk on their front porch.
Many customers say they like how in one way our milk feels lighter in
the mouth, but it also has a full, creamy flavor. Customers also
say our milk is cleaner on their palate.
What is Pasteurization? Why do we think VAT is better?
Pasteurization is a mandated production method for milks in the United States where heat is applied to raw milk to decrease the possibility of food-borne illness and to increase shelf life. The Farmers’ All Natural Creamery uses a process called VAT pasteurization, where a fixed volume of milk in a vat is slowly agitated at 145 degrees Fahrenheit—this process has a uniquely negligible effect on the pure flavor of the milk. Our end product is as close as pasteurized milk can get to farm fresh flavor. Our Creamery also chooses the VAT process because we believe its lower temperature allows milk to retain more of its nutritional value than other methods of pasteurization (industrial-scale milk operations heat their milk to 171 degrees or higher, Fahrenheit, HTST method, and from 265-300 degrees, Fahrenheit, UHT method). The difference is very easy to understand; overcooked food loses flavor and nutrients. A well known example of the impact cooking has on food is its effect on vegetables. Raw or gently cooked vegetables have more flavor and nutrients than overcooked vegetables. We believe the same is likely true for milk. Most milk available today is pasteurized at temperatures significantly higher than 145 degrees Fahrenheit. By doing this, dairies sacrifice the fresh flavor and nutritional value of milk for a longer-than-natural shelf life.
How many cows do you have on a typical farm?
Typical 35-40 cows, Range 15-95 cows
Is Vitamin A or D added to your milk?
We are required to add Vitamin A to our 2%, Skim, 1% milks. It is required because Vitamin A exists in the cream or fat part of milk so when you remove cream to lower the fat, you lose or lessen the natural vitamin A that is in it. We do not use Vitamin A from an animal source when we add it. We do not add Vitamin D to any of our products.
Why don’t you add Vitamin D to your milk?
Typically, organic customers do not want synthetic vitamins used in milk. And, like our customers, we prefer our milk to be left in as natural of a state as possible.
What kind of cows do you have?
Holstein, Jersey, Brown Swiss, Guernseys, Ayrshire, Milking Shorthorned, Scandinavian Red, Montbeliard
Can your milk be frozen?
It is usually not recommended to freeze milk, but we have heard some customers say they’ve been able to do it successfully with our product. If you have been able to do this, send us a note and let us know how it worked. Here’s one customer’s recommendation. “Do not quickly thaw the milk (ex. In hot water, microwave), but do it slowly in fridge. The cream will thaw first, the nonfat part of the milk will follow. Then, make sure it is completely thawed before shaking.”
If I am lactose intolerant, can I drink your milk?
We have no research that explores this. However, we’ve heard countless stories from people who say they are able to drink our milk, despite having/being lactose intolerance. If you have lactose intolerance and you try our milk we would welcome you to share your experience with us.
Have the cows’ horns been cut?
Most of our farms do cut the cows’ horns. It is done to protect people and other cows. Injury can happen very easily because cows affectionately rub their heads towards people. They also like to spar with other cows in their herds.
Why does the milk sometimes have a yellow color?
Our grass-fed cows are raised on family farms where they graze heavily. The natural yellow color of grass-fed milk is actually an indication of its superior nutritional value, and is due to the high amounts of beta carotene.
Why is it important to have pasture-fed cows?
Over the past few decades many studies have revealed that pasture-feeding is much healthier for the cows and for the consumer.
Greener Pastures: How Grass-fed Beef and Milk Contribute to Health
Eating by Kate Clancy is the first study to synthesize
the findings of virtually every English-language study (25 were chosen
for analysis) comparing the amounts of total fats, saturated fats, omega-3
fatty acids, and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) in both pasture-raised
and conventionally raised beef and dairy cattle. The report also
combined analyses of the nutrition, environmental, and public health
benefits of grass-based farming techniques.
The report found that grass-fed milk contains higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, the so-called beneficial fats. Grass-fed milk tends to be higher in an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) that scientists have demonstrated reduces the risk of heart disease. And grass-fed milk also is higher in CLA, a fatty acid shown in animal studies to protect against cancer. CLA was discovered in 1978 by Michael W. Pariza at the University of Wisconsin while looking for mutagen formations in meat during cooking. The most abundant source of natural CLA is the meat and dairy products of grass-fed animals. Research conducted since 1999 shows that grazing animals have from 3 to 5 times more CLA than animals fattened on grain in a feedlot. Simply switching from grain-fed to grass-fed products can greatly increase your intake of CLA.
How much cream per SKU?
Whole 3.5%, 2% , 1%, Skim has .1%
Why is there a grayish look to milk?
It is not the milk that looks gray; it is our bottle that is slightly gray. Our bottle has a UV blocker in it to protect the milk from light which will oxidize it, and affect the flavor.
Separation of buttermilk?
All buttermilk separates somewhat. You just cannot see it in the typical opaque packages used for buttermilk. Ours likely separates more because we prefer to not homogenize it so it can be left in the purest state. It easily mixes together when shaken. What sets our buttermilk apart is the low temperature pasteurizing process that we use. Also the fact it is non-homogenized.
Yes, Farmers’ All-Natural Creamery products are certified Kosher by the Chicago Rabbinical Council (CRC).
What are our quality practices?
We meet many standards for quality. FDA, State, Organic Certifier. We also meet Grade A Milk standards. We are certified organic through Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS). We meet the national organic program (NOP) regulations. We are also inspected by the FDA, USDA, Iowa Milk Shippers, and are Kosher certified by the Chicago Rabbinical Council.